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What not to do when appealing an SSD denial

The rules and regulations relating to Social Security Disability can be very complex and varied. Even when a person seems to meet all the criteria necessary for receiving benefits, a person's request may still be denied. In fact, the Social Security Administration has designed the program in such a way that as much as 70 percent of all initial applications are denied.

Recent reports suggest that more people than ever appealed a denied Social Security Disability Insurance claim last year. Because most people are denied benefits at an initial application level, it is important that people continue to fight for benefits and file an appeal.

There are some common mistakes that people make after an application is denied that can jeopardize the chances of collecting benefits. First, qualified candidates may simply give up after being denied. However, there are many levels of review that take place in this system. Sticking with the process is important.

If someone misses an appeal deadline, it means he or she must reapply at the initial application level. Starting at the initial stage again prohibits applicants from being able to provide additional information that may help their claim. A person has only 60 days to notify the Social Security Administration that there is intent to appeal, otherwise the deadline will be missed.

Many people also choose to try and complete the process alone. Having a third party assist in this process can be very helpful. A person who understands this process will know to keep copies of applications, anticipate any hearings that may take place and update documents accordingly. Additionally, many people underestimate their disability. An objective third party will be able to record all the changes and alterations a person has had to make in order to adjust to a new lifestyle.

Most importantly, applicants should not get discouraged after a denial. At least half of all SSD appeals are approved. With assistance and persistence, an appeal can be successful and benefits can be collected.

Source: chron.com, "Social Security Disability Appeals Reached New Record in 2011," Feb. 7, 2012

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